30 Days of TV – Day 27

Day 27 – Favorite series finale

I’ll be frank and ‘fess up. I haven’t seen that many series finales.

There’s a couple reasons excuses for this. A lot of shows I’ve watched just don’t have them, usually because they were canceled (Firefly). When I was a kid, I didn’t actually believe that shows had finales, or pilots for that matter; why, obviously they sprung out of the ether and were always like that. I think I saw the Talespin pilot twice in all those years of viewing, and I don’t remember seeing one for Ducktales or Darkwing Duck, or any other cartoon show I watched (Rocko’s Modern Life?). Lately, the problem I have is being halfway through a series, so I can’t really make judgment calls about its finale when I’m in a fairly early season… or, because the show hasn’t ended yet, thank God (Rescue Me, Fringe, Doctor Who, … Archer). Lastly, I gave up, or stopped watching, a number of shows mid-stride. Keeping up with Lost was a burden in season three or four; same with Heroes. And with Smallville.  I’d like to see all of them, but not immediately.

The first finale I remember watching was for Home Improvement. Not that I actually remember anything that happened in it, other than Tim Allen drove away at the end in the car he’d been building in his garage the last few seasons. Actually, I remember more of the post-show show, where the guy who played Wilson came out and you could see his face, fence-free. I’m not even sure when I started watching the show, or much about it, other than that it was a sitcom, was set in Michigan, and the Tool Time bits were hilarious.

Same for Seinfeld and Friends. Oh, and also Frasier. I remember watching the finale for Seinfeld, and again, don’t remember much about it. (What, it was a decade ago, and I would’ve been like 10.) They were all sent to jail because they… did nothing… and were convicted by a who’s-who roster of the recurring characters from the past. Friends was, predictably, Ross and Rachel getting back together.

Star Trek Voyager. Yeah, it’s the black sheep of the family if you’re of the opinion that Enterprise didn’t exist, and if it did exist, well then, it’s the “at least it’s not as bad as Enterprise” show. I grew up watching TNG, and got into Voyager when it aired. There’s an inordinate amount of crap and filler in there, padding out seven seasons. I still kinda like it, though. The early parts weren’t that bad, and the show did have a knack for solid cliffhanger two and three part episodes, even if they were formulaic. (Examples: crew infiltrates alien culture and gains amnesia; alien culture infiltrates ship, gives crew amnesia, leaves them on holodeck.) Hell, I might just be thinking of season finales, but I saw a number of multi-part episodes watching re-runs on vacation a few years ago, and it’s a pain in the ass when all you see is part two of three. Anyways, the finale was good, but expected, and it took too long to get there: they end up going home, albeit much earlier than they anticipated. Yay. Voyage over.

I think I’ve already done Galactica to death. Scroll down to yesterday.

Some people consider Serenity to be Firefly’s finale; yes, in a lot of ways it was, as it closed a number of doors on the show even as it opened it up to legions of new fans. Two of the crew are killed off, one without ever explaining his backstory; River Tam explains the history of the reavers, becomes a ninja, and Mal causes the downfall of the Alliance. Bam. Great movie, until I saw the show, and realized that Serenity was a finality and not, as my Firefly-loving acquaintances hoped, a segue into another series.

The only other one I can think of is The Prisoner. My uncle bought the VHS box set(s) years ago, and whenever he, my grandfather, and I would go up north to go snowmobiling and ice fishing (read: neither, since there was never enough snow), we’d throw those on and plow through. One wacky, weird show; it’s more of a mindfuck than a TV series. The last episode is a great, and probably the best, example: it looks obvious enough, but it just adds layers and layers of ambiguity.

But, what list is complete without…

Spoiler/Preview/Recap:
Day 01 – A show that should have never been canceled – Jericho
Day 02 – A show that you wish more people were watching – Fringe
Day 03 – Your favorite new show (aired this TV-season) – Game of Thrones
Day 04 – Your favorite show ever – Battlestar Galactica (2004)
Day 05 – A show you hate – various micro-rants
Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite t.v show – The Oath/Blood on the Scales
Day 07 – Least favorite episode of your favorite t.v show – Black Market
Day 08 – A show everyone should watch – Better Off Ted
Day 09 – Best scene/episode ever – Out of Gas
Day 10 – A show you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving – NCIS
Day 11 – A show that disappointed you – Heroes
Day 12 – A TV show you’ve watched more than 4 times – Robotech
Day 13 – Favorite childhood show – Talespin
Day 14 – Favorite male character – The Doctor
Day 15 – Favorite female character – Laura Roslin
Day 16 – Your guilty pleasure show – Top Gear
Day 17 – Favorite mini series – Band of Brothers
Day 18 – Favorite title sequence – Rescue Me
Day 19 – Best t.v show cast – Firefly
Day 20 – Favorite kiss – Adama and Roslin, Galactica, The Oath
Day 21 – Favorite relationship – William Adama and Laura Roslin
Day 22 – Best pilot episode – Battlestar Galactica
Day 23 – Most annoying character – a whole helluva lot
Day 24 – Best quote – Ray Person, Generation Kill
Day 25 – A show you plan on watching (old or new) – Sons of Anarchy
Day 26 – OMG WTF? Season finale – Battlestar Galactica (2004)
Day 27 – Favorite series finale – The Prisoner (1968)
Day 28 – First t.v show obsession
Day 29 – Current t.v show obsession
Day 30 – Saddest character death


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